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Mijn Antwerpen: Making city life simple

In Antwerp, almost everyone has a smartphone, 94 percent of residents to be exact. That's why the city decided to make life easier for everyone by creating the app, Mijn Antwerpen. Born from the need for a more personalized and accessible approach to city services, this app stands as a testament to Antwerp's commitment to creating a user-centric digital landscape. By focusing on inclusivity and tailoring its features to the unique demands of its citizens and visitors, Mijn Antwerpen is not just a utility but a transformative force in the everyday lives of those it serves.

Customized to serve better

From the outset, the City of Antwerp was clear that a one-size-fits-all solution wouldn’t suffice for their ambitious digital transformation goals. “Our preliminary research indicated that existing public apps were process-driven rather than user-centric,” Youri Segers, CDO/CIO at the City of Antwerp explains. “We needed an app that didn’t just serve but integrated seamlessly into the daily lives of our citizens.”

The decision to develop a custom app was bolstered by extensive user research, which revealed a strong local demand for more tailored digital services. “The enthusiasm from our citizens was unmistakable. They wanted an app that was intuitive and comprehensive - a true digital companion,” Youri adds.

Building with and for the community

Understanding the diverse needs of Antwerp’s population was crucial. The city partnered with local stakeholders, including businesses and community organizations, to ensure the app was inclusive and accessible to all. “We engaged with Atlas and incorporated feedback from less digitally skilled users to ensure no one was left behind,” Youri notes.

Digital inclusivity was a guiding principle throughout the app’s development, as Kris (CCO at icapps) elaborates, “We aimed to create an interface that was as simple as the most basic applications, ensuring that the elderly and less digitally savvy could also benefit.”

Ambitious goals and a mobile-first strategy

Antwerp’s choice of a mobile-first approach was strategic, leveraging the ubiquity and familiarity of smartphones to drive adoption. “Smartphones are a gateway to simplifying complex processes. This accessibility drives our digital transformation efforts forward,” says Youri.

The city has set robust targets for Mijn Antwerpen, aiming for a 35% adoption rate by 2026 and 70% by 2032.

A gateway to city services

Mijn Antwerpen is designed to be a holistic tool for residents and visitors alike. It acts as a portal to numerous city services, from administrative tasks to cultural engagement. “Whether it’s registering a birth, reporting issues, or finding out about local events, the app puts all these services at your fingertips,” Kris points out. Additionally, the integration of the A-card into the app allows users to digitally collect points and access rewards, improving the user experience further.

Measuring success and looking ahead

For the team behind Mijn Antwerpen, success is defined by user satisfaction and frequent engagement. “We will continue to enhance the app based on the community's feedback and evolving needs,” Youri states. “It’s about creating an application that grows with its user base.”

Kris reflects on the alignment between this project and icapps’ mission: “Building this app wasn’t just a project; it was a commitment to improving daily life in Antwerp. It reflects our core mission to enrich people's lives through technology.”

The future of Mijn Antwerpen

As Antwerp looks ahead, the roadmap for Mijn Antwerpen includes not just enhancements based on citizen feedback but also ensuring that all new digital projects are optimized for mobile use. “This is just the beginning. The potential for expanding the app’s capabilities is limitless,” Kris concludes with optimism.